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Author: Arundel Stevens

Taking a Mental Health Day

Illustration by Marcello Burdis

Why are Mental Health Days a Necessary Part of Life?

By Arundel Stevens

Workloads and responsibilities can build up quickly. Running one too many errands can leave you burnt out and exhausted, barely having enough energy to complete some of the tasks on your list. This feeling is common in today’s culture. The “grind” is so glorified in news and online content, it often ignores the negative aspects of overworking.

With social media showing us only the positive and pretty parts of people’s lives, it is hard to feel validated when we just don’t have any battery left! However, mental health days are not only normal parts of life; they are becoming increasingly important for workers’s efficiency.

What do mental health days consist of?

No matter your occupation, responsibilities, or anxieties, every person deals with burnout at some point. Mental health days provide an opportunity to disconnect from the stressful aspects of our lives. However, a mental health day doesn’t necessarily mean you take a break from all responsibilities.

A common misconception about mental health days is that they are an excuse to sit around all day. Taking a mental health day can actually be extremely productive! This day can be spent running simple errands, meeting with friends, exercising, or, yes, sitting on the couch watching a show (if that’s what you need). It is important to read your own needs and desires and acknowledge what you can or cannot handle.

If you are so burnt out from work that you need to withdraw and take a day off from all your responsibilities, that’s fine! But some people may not have the privilege of fully disconnecting. Either way, the most important factor is removing the major stressors in your life. For just one day, let yourself take a break from dealing with that anxiety, and you will find yourself restored and motivated once you return!

Why are mental health days so effective?

It may seem paradoxical: taking a day off from work and responsibilities actually makes you more productive? It’s true! Taking one short day to disengage from the responsibilities and tasks that are causing mental distress can restore your energy and make you more equipped to deal with your stress.

Just letting yourself recharge is important: we were never built to carry stress all the time! Simply catching up on sleep and spending one day focusing on yourself and your mental health first can increase productivity once you return to your regular workday. It’s better to take one day off and be functioning at 100% when you return than barely making it through the day from burnout. Knowing your limits and knowing when you have become overwhelmed with stress can help you validate those emotions and learn how to combat them properly! Don’t just ignore your stress; learn your limits and let yourself take a day off!



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